Blogging BlogHer bloginess

Dear friends,

We Rookie Moms try not to blog about blogging because we believe that our readers are more likely to be fellow mamas, not fellow bloggers, but since there are definitely a handful of savvy bloggers reading our site, I want to address an issue some of us may be facing this week. This ego boost is brought to you by my husband, by the way.

The marketers who pitch their products to us everyday, hoping for free advertising on our site, can be ignored or gently told, “no thank you.” Heather and I have a hard time ignoring, but when someone is pitching us something crazy off-topic, we do it, or if it’s just not quite on-topic enough, maybe we’ll send the “no thank you” message. If we’re feeling energetic and want to say, “Hey, company with a marketing budget, please tell me why I should give you something valuable for nothing?” then we might go ahead and craft a really smart email to send them. (Like, if you think we reach your target audience, why not pony up a whopping $35 to advertise to them?) But it’s not an obligation. Deleting their message is just as easy.

Now as BlogHer is approaching, some marketers are contacting us and saying they’d like to meet. They’d like to have coffee and learn more about what Mom Bloggers want from marketers. It’s flattering, sure. But is it okay?

Now here is my main point – a realization I came to only after my husband recently asked me some probing questions about why a corporation should be able to take up my time while I pay $15/hr for childcare.

We are not obligated to deliver our consulting services to corporations for FREE! Especially those of us who make our livings doing marketing strategy and/or execution. Why should we give our services away gratis? We are worth more than that.

I am personally excited to go to BlogHer, to meet a lot of cool people face to face, to thank them for nice reviews they’ve written about my book, to tell them that it’s been cool to participate in their projects, that I appreciate their thoughtful writing. I know there won’t be enough time in the weekend to squeeze in all the talking and listening and card-exchanging and jumping up and down hugging that I’m looking forward to. Should I give an hour to a for-profit company who wants to craft a smarter marketing strategy? No. I’d rather give that hour to myself. Maybe I’ll find a quiet corner, rest my feet, call my house, take notes on my thoughts, or just stare into space. Maybe I’ll find some other bloggers with whom to exchange entrepreneurial ideas. Maybe I’ll sit down with my bloggy partner and discuss usability or leg-shaving techniques.

I just want to remind all of us that our time is valuable. Just like the real estate on your web site. It’s not fair for other people to make money off of it without giving us something in return.

So, note to publicist and marketers who are reading this. We are no dummies. We are available not for whoring, but for hire.

And note to others who I’ll be seeing at BlogHer, who contribute to the community, who are slaves to their labors of love, or slaves to their children, or slaves to comfortable shoes for that matter, (or who would like me to stop using the very upsetting word “slave” because it carries so much baggage and what do I know about it) I am so looking forward to hanging out and learning more from you.

Signing off…

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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